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I blame Drew Barrymore. In 1993, there wasn’t anyone cooler, and when her campaign for Guess came out, I was completely blown away by how incredible she looked. But mostly I was obsessed with her eyebrows. They’d been full and voluminous in her movie Poison Ivy—which I was also crazy about but is probably problematic now?—but as of the campaign, they were super stylized and thin. And so I did what every other middle schooler at the time did and tweezed off half my eyebrows. I kept plucking and waxing them into a thinner-than-normal shape for years and damaged some of the follicles permanently.
Eventually, the trend moved away from that look, and I woke up from my skinny-brow stupor and attempted a 180, but without much success—until I met Kristie Streicher. I’m guessing most of you have heard Kristie’s name before, and you’ve definitely seen her work on women such as Adele, Lorde, Mandy Moore, and pretty much every fashion person in L.A. She’s known for creating the Feathered Brow, which is fluffy, full, and lush and pretty much the opposite of what I showed up with when we started working together a few years ago.
The process is not fast nor inexpensive, but I will say that I think my brows are currently the best they’ve ever been, and here’s why.
Committing to regrowth.
Whether it’s via a virtual or IRL appointment, you have to commit to not plucking your brows for a minimum of eight weeks before Kristie will see you. I’m going to be honest: I thought this was absolute bullshit and there was no way this would make a difference and didn’t truly, truly commit to this until the pandemic, and guess what: It’s major, and it works.
Trusting the power of tinting.
I mentioned this in a recent post, but the number one most important thing I did was start tinting my eyebrows. Turns out that I have a ton of little blonde hairs in my eyebrows, especially the outer half, that I wasn’t getting credit for because no one could see them until Kristie suggested tinting them.
I was uncertain about her suggestion for a couple of reasons. First of all, I have naturally darkish eyebrows, so I didn’t think there was any point in tinting them further. Second, I’d been inspired by Britney Spears and bleached my brows in the early ’00s, not realizing that when they grew in, I’d have roots and that my brows would look interesting for several months. (Yes, I could have dyed them darker when that happened, but my colorist at the time had done the dyeing, and I lived in another city, and truthfully, it just seemed like a fair punishment for doing something high-maintenance to them in the first place.)
But when I tell you that tinting them darker changed my life… It really did. Suddenly my brows were honestly almost twice as full. While I go a few shades darker because I like the high-contrast look, you can get similar results even with a subtler shade. The first couple of days are a little intense, for sure, but the color softens and fades out slowly, and every stage looks great.
Trying a brow-lift—twice.
The brow-lamination trend has been on my radar since 2019, but that year, I was busy having my second baby, and trying new beauty treatments wasn’t on my list of things to do. Also, to be honest, prior to that year and then the following pandemic years, I never really let my brows grow. I was often on shoots, which meant that my brows were constantly being trimmed and tweaked by makeup artists, so there wasn’t a ton of length to work with.
But finally, in mid-2021, I saw Kristie for the first time in 18+ months, and she suggested we try it. Six months prior, I’d seen Madison Beer’s Beauty Secrets video on Vogue and, influenced by her soap brows, had been quietly experimenting with the look at home. So when Kristie asked if I wanted to try lamination, my brows were longer, my mind was conditioned, and I said yes. And to be honest, the first time I did it, my response was kind of sad trombone (whomp whomp). I didn’t get it.
Turns out I did a couple of things wrong. First of all, I washed my face not long after I had the treatment, rather than wait the 24 hours Kristie told me to wait. Second, I thought my brows would just stick up on their own. Uh, no. You still have to brush/style them into place; the lamination just makes them move into your preferred place more easily.
So recently, I tried it again, but this time I followed the post-care directions completely, and I had watched Kristie’s video on how to back-comb your brows when putting on product, and yeah, it makes quite a fluffy difference.
So what did I learn?
The road to better brows is extremely long, and truthfully, I probably will never get my pre-plucking brows back. That said, the good news is that the thing that made the most difference in my brows—no trimming, tweezing, or tweaking in any way for probably a full year—is also the least expensive.
The second best thing is tinting. I will continue doing this indefinitely because it’s made such an enormous difference in the way they look.
The third is getting the right product. I mentioned my three favorites in last week’s beauty newsletter, but again, they’re Kosas’s Air Brow Tinted Clean Volumizing Eyebrow Gel (I use Medium Brown), Merit’s Brow 1980 Volumizing Eyebrow Pomade (I use Brown), and Tom Ford’s Brow Sculptor (I use Taupe).
And finally, if you have the time and money to try a lamination treatment for your brows, it’s definitely impactful, but I don’t know if this will be a long-term essential treatment for me.
One last thing: Yes, I’ve tried every single hair-growth serum on the market—including some off-label prescription ones—to try to boost my brows. While I know they work for lots of folks, I’ve never been able to use them seriously, because they always irritate my skin and make me break out. Every time something new hits the market, I still try it, but no dice thus far.
What’s on your shopping radar right now?
I mentioned this briefly on IGS last week, but I’m currently loving the Venus Pleated Tiered Midi Dress from WWWC, which I just bought in gold and also white. The material is soooooo lovely—it’s no-wrinkle crinkle crepe—and feels very expensive. It’s an easy dress for holiday parties, and then I will style it with tights and boots for daytime. (The Row’s zip-front ankle boots are the gold standard, but didn’t work for me due to high arches. I have an Anine Bing chunky boot that I’m going to wear with that dress, and this style works too if you’re looking for something lower profile.)